A hack for doing the right thing

A simple hack I have learnt to ensure you move from intention to action in doing the right thing: After you have decided to do it, find an incentive for yourself. Make the incentive clear and always obvious to you.

It may be that the action brings you joy.

It may be that it makes your wife proud of you.

It may be that it strengthens your long term reputation.

It may even be something tied to your interests as a professional.

I call it a catalytic incentive – after business theorist, Jim Collins’ catalytic mechanism to drive performance and execution in companies.

It is the thing that will keep you going when things get too tough, too rough, when you’re under pressure, when it’s not going the way you wish, when you forget why you chose to do it in the first place.

We have been taught that the right thing has to be difficult, complicated, wrenching, draining. That’s not true. The right thing just needs to be right.

Make it easy for yourself to move from intention to action (and to sustain action) by giving yourself a compelling reason, always, to keep going.